The Prodigal

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the-prodigal-chor-yuen
the-prodigal-chor-yuen

The Prodigal (1969)

98 min - Drama - 23 September 1969
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The Prodigal is a Hong Kong Drama starring Stanley Fung. Patrick Tse stars as Evan Chen, kicked out of school and trying to find his way in society. Ignored by his parents who favour brother Alan (Kenneth Tsang) and remembering how a rich man snared his former love, Evan soon starts planning revenge against those who’ve wronged him.

Director:  Chor Yuen

Photos

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Storyline

The Prodigal is a Hong Kong Drama starring Stanley Fung. Patrick Tse stars as Evan Chen, kicked out of school and trying to find his way in society. Ignored by his parents who favour brother Alan (Kenneth Tsang) and remembering how a rich man snared his former love, Evan soon starts planning revenge against those who’ve wronged him.


Collections: Chor Yuen

Genres: Drama

Details

Official Website: 
Country:   Hong Kong
Release Date:  23 September 1969

Box Office

Company Credits

Production Companies:  Tse Brothers Motion Picture Company

Technical Specs

Runtime:  1 h 38 min

Released at the very end of Chor Yuen’s Cantonese cinema period of the 1960s, The Prodigal captured a sense of hopelessness in Hong Kong’s youth.

Patrick Tse stars as Evan Chen, kicked out of school and trying to find his way in society. Ignored by his parents who favour brother Alan (Kenneth Tsang) and remembering how a rich man snared his former love, Evan soon starts planning revenge against those who’ve wronged him. But while devising his plans, former model student Alan is going off the rails back home, skipping school, dating bar girl Doris (Ti Na) and dealing drugs to support her. Evan steps in but does he have what it takes to turn things around? Like Chor’s Joys and Sorrows of Youth did some months earlier, The Prodigal paints a harsh picture of youth in Hong Kong and what traps may lie when they take wrong turns in life. But the stakes are heightened here with the lead character’s plight, unable to shake a destiny to fail under adults’ eyes and questioning how society forces youth to change.

The revenge side of the story also adds to the drama, asking if bitterness truly pays off in the end. From the opening scenes the image of the city itself is far from glossy, capturing housing estates, crowds, pollution, building sites and gravel heaps, offering images to suit what Tse refers to as a “dirty world”. A sense of gritty realism sticks with the picture for most of its running time, adding contrasts between the rich and poor and only departing from convention with a startling and symbolic camera trick near the end. Patrick Tse, whose company produced the picture, impresses in The Prodigal’s dramatic peaks and co-star Kenneth Tsang handles a complex role ably as viewers come to learn more about his story.

Tim Youngs

Thanks to Far East Film Festival